Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies

Food is a powerful thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s a particular smell that can jolt our memory and transport us back to a great aunt’s kitchen on a warm summer day, and sometimes it’s taste. These cookies hit me with no warning. As soon as I took a bite I was immediately 18 again. I was a freshman in college, and although I chose a school right in Pittsburgh and could have easily commuted, I chose to live on campus. I was settled in, and while my Dad had to drive through the city to get to his job every day, he promised that there would be no surprise pop-in visits to my dorm room. That being said, we still scheduled a fair share of visits, usually once every week or 10 days. We would hop down to one of the eateries on campus (typically Burger King or Subway) for dinner, and he usually brought me some type of edible treat from my mom. At the time I was going through a huge love affair with sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery. One specific visit stands out to me. It was probably early November, a grey and dreary day (shocking for Pittsburgh, I know) and he brought me a box of sugar cookies. I savored them for days. I wish I could have had many more little impromptu dinner dates with my dad while I was in college as he was passing through town on his way home from work. Unfortunately, he passed away that spring, and these cookies definitely tugged at my heart strings this week.

To make what turned into a very long story short, these cookies taste exactly like the ones that he brought me from the grocery store, that I loved so much at that time.

I know I make a lot of sugar cookies and I already have a ton of recipes here on the site, but I couldn’t resist trying these when I saw them described as tasting exactly like the ones sold at grocery store bakeries. I was in… hook, line and sinker.

What I didn’t know, however, is that this is actually an old family recipe that was passed down from generations and when the Lofthouse folks first began selling them, it was from the back of a pickup truck. Now they deliver their cookies all over the country. I love stories like that!

These cookies are soft and moist, and a bit fluffier than the ones I usually make for decorating. They have that characteristic flavor of the bakery sugar cookies, which I think is due in part to the inclusion of sour cream in the batter. That also helps to keep them nice and moist. The buttercream frosting is incredibly easy to make, very light and also fluffy. Since my kitchen is well into holiday mode at this point, I went with plain white frosting and some Christmas sprinkles, but you could add a drop or two of food coloring to the frosting to make it whatever color you’d like, and decorate however you wish. The possibilities are endless!

Stored in an airtight container, these stay nice and soft, and I think they taste even better after sitting in there for a day or so. This is a fabulous, easy sugar cookie and frosting recipe for the holidays if you don’t have the time to tackle the traditional cut-outs with royal icing decorations. Enjoy!

One year ago: Pistachio & Cranberry White Chocolate Bark
Two years ago: Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A recipe for the famous Lofthouse brand sugar cookies found in the supermarket bakery section.


For the Cookies:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups sour cream

For the Easy Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Pinch salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream


1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

5. Flour the countertop and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.

6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

7. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

(Recipe adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet)


142 Responses to “Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Victoria on December 7, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe! This is my favorite site, and I’ve always wanted to make a cookie just like the bakery sugar cookies… I’m trying these tomorrow!! I have an old recipe but it was too cakey. The only thing I think I’ll do is add some cardomom and some almond flavoring, since the bakery ones have these tastes. Are these your favorite sugar cookie?


    • Michelle on December 7th, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Hi Victoria, These are great puffy sugar cookies to slather with the buttercream, and the other staples (that I linked to above) are perfect for decorating. If I had to choose only one I think I’d still choose the Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies, but it would be a close, close decision, mostly because they are different styles of cookie, so apples/oranges.


    • Lisa on December 21st, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      I enjoyed your review of this recipe. Can you tell me how much almond extract and Cardamom you add to the recipe?I have never used cardamom,what is its’ flavor? Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  2. Ann on December 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Great recipe and your photos are stunning! It’s amazing how you can taste (or smell) something and it immediately transports you somewhere. There is magic in certain foods!


  3. Choc Chip Uru on December 7, 2011 at 3:49 am

    This looks too soft and tasty – cant wait to add someday to my blogs recipe collection :)


  4. Deanna on December 7, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Comfort food comes in all shapes and forms. What a great memory for you.


  5. Sandra on December 7, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Yummy, Iove these!


  6. Blog is the New Black on December 7, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I certainly need to try these!


  7. Kiri W. on December 7, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Mmm. these look amazing and so pretty with their Christmas sprinkles :) Great recipe – sometimes a simple sugar cookie is just better than anything else~


  8. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on December 7, 2011 at 6:13 am

    This is the kind of cookie where the sugar overload would just lure me in and I would be addicted immediately!


  9. Deborah Carlson on December 7, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Awww what a beautiful memory of your father and you! Love it!
    These cookies sound and look fabulous!
    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and memory with us xo

    Deborah xo


  10. Penny Wolf on December 7, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I love your story and I couldn’t agree more about the power of food. My parents are gone, my Mother just 2 years ago. It is the recipes of hers that have kept us comforted and seemingly normal and together. Enough so that I have been putting copies in a fireproof box.


  11. Katrina on December 7, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a while! I love them!


  12. Francesca on December 7, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I previously left a comment here that was supposed to be for the King Arthur Flour giveaway…oops. I absolutely LOVE Lofthouse cookies. I ate these regularly throughout college. Literally kept a container of these cookies in my car so that I could enjoy a few after my commute to campus. Amazing! I’ll have to make these!


  13. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on December 7, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Oh, I should make these for my friend for Christmas, her and her son love puffy sugar cookies with the frosting. Thank you!! By the way, I am asking for a camera for Christmas, your photos are always so beautiful, may I ask what kind of camera do you use?


    • Michelle on December 7th, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Aw thank you Jennifer! I use a Canon T2i with either a 50mm 1.8 or 24-70mm 2.8 lens.


  14. Gayle215 on December 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Your post broke my heart. What a sweet memory to have of your Dad. It sounds like you had a great relationship. Both of my parents are gone and food is a powerful remembrance.


    • Allie on December 17th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      Made these cookies today. The dough was fairly easy to make and it set well within 2 hours in the fridge. My complaint is that the dough stuck to my counter, even though both the dough and surface were generously floured. I then scooped up my rolled dough, formed a ball and dropped it by the teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet. They are so fluffy, moist, and full of flavor. Very delicious!


      • jose on December 14th, 2015 at 1:48 pm

        allie, how would you say these compare to lofthouse cookies? i was thinking of making these but only if they’re better than storebought


  15. Valerie Ward on December 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

    These cookies look yummy. I made cut out sugar cookies last Christmas with the kids and everyone had such a good time decorating them! I should make more this year… maybe invite our two neighbors over (little girls my girls ages) to decorate. Thanks for just reminding me to do this! Love your blog.



  16. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on December 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Yum! I love lofthouse cookies!


  17. Supergoo on December 7, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Hey, I just found google reader and put you on the list to follow! very cool. Of course, I already get your emails………


  18. Erin on December 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I’m pretty sure our grocery store sells a knock-off of these kinds of cookies…these look just like them, but I bet they are more delicious!


  19. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on December 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Sweet story. Cherish those memories! :)

    I love Lofthouse cookies too – must be all the butter.


  20. Beth V. on December 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    The Lofthouse cookies are the best! My husband loves them. I will have to surprise him with these!


  21. Dena Hamlin on December 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    ohhhh how these cookies are my guilty pleasure. I always bring them to class parties so I can have just one. heck who am I kidding, at least 2 LOL
    THANK YOU for sharing this recipe. Printing it out as we speak.


  22. Jackie on December 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I loved your story, thank you for sharing it. I made these from another recipe the other day and they were ok, but not exactly what I was looking for. I will try these soon – I love the Lofthouse cookies and have a hard time passing them by every time I am in the grocery store. Your recipes are the best!


  23. Paula on December 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe with us and for the wonderful memory of you and your Dad that it brought to mind.


  24. Elva on December 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I can’t wait to try these cookies!


  25. Amber, RD on December 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I have a cookbook I got from my grandma after she passed away 3 years ago. I have used several of those old recipes on my blog, but my favorite thing about this cookbook is that it smells like her house. I take a good whiff of it every time I get it out and I am taken right back to her home. I’m glad you now have something that brings you back to days with your father!


  26. Nick (Macheesmo) on December 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I had a serious addiction to cookies like these growing up. This is the first recipe that looks close that I’ve seen. Definitely trying it!


  27. Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} on December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like the grocery store sugar cookies, those things are addicting! And it looks like you have a GREAT recipe for homemade ones, can’t wait to try these out. My boyfriend will love me even more 😉 Pinned!


  28. Jenny on December 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    What a sweet memory. My son loves these kind of cookies. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


  29. MonicaB on December 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    These look yummy! Great memory, thanks for the great recipe


  30. amanda @ fake ginger on December 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I think these were staples in every college kid’s diet. I know I used to buy a pack every time I went to the store! And don’t you love how food has a way of taking you back in time? So happy that these brought back happy memories for you! :)


  31. Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor on December 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I love sugar cookies, and have always made all of my cookies from my mom’s old recipes. I’ve already made the cookies to pass out for the holidays, but this is one recipe I’m going to try someday. Thanks for sharing.


  32. Holly on December 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

    so glad to see this here. I just pulled this recipe for this weekend


  33. Maria on December 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I saw these on Pinterest and added them to my list:) Glad you liked them!


  34. Rebecca - on December 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hi, I just discovered your blog and I must say it is wonderful! The cookies above look perfect and delicious and like you I have a soft spot for bakery sugar cookies :) I look forward to exploring more of your adventures, both already posted and new ones to come.

    P.S. Your photography is excellent as well!

    Thanks for sharing!


  35. colleen on December 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I love Lofthouse Cookies. These bring back memories of late nights in college when we would scamper down to Sheetz for a sugar and caffeine fix. I’ve been looking for the perfect copy cat recipe ever since and before I even try it, I know yours will be the one.

    Thanks for sharing (the recipe and your story).


  36. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on December 7, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Wow so many versions of this recipe are floating around but I’ve noticed most say they arn’t exactly like the original. But you seem to have hit the jackpot! Love these cookies.


  37. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on December 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    These are being added to my Christmas baking list as we speak :) YUM!


  38. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking on December 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    so funny – my daughter asked me to make these while she was home from college over Thanksgiving, but I never got around to doing it. She comes home next week for winter break so these are defiinitely on the to-do list with the gingerbread houses. Thank you so much!
    I loved the story about your dad. I’m so glad you shared it. It warmed my heart to think of the two of you having special “dates” and some impromptu visits, and then I was so saddened to read that those visits had been cut short by his passing. I am so sorry, Michelle. I lost my mom 19 years ago and some of the fondest memories I have of the two of us together involve food, too.


  39. sue@ cakeballs, cookies and more on December 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    What a great story, I would love to have that kind of relationship with my dad. So thank you for sharing.


  40. Chelsea on December 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Are these the kind that you might find in the grocery store with decorations for each holiday? If so, I love these! I had a teacher in elementary school that would give them out for A’s on tests! Great memory :)


    • Michelle on December 7th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Yes, those are it!


      • Chelsea on December 10th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

        GREAT! I can’t wait to make them! I have made a ton of your recipes and they have all come out delicious (except the banana oat bran muffins :( which seemed to have too little liquid in the batter)!!


  41. Kelly on December 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Can’t wait to try these. Just spent the best four days at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT. Took four cookie baking classes, so I have to say my favorite thing to bake is cookies! One demo class and a hands on class was taught by Dede Wilson, author of A Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies ( The KAF Baker’s Store if awesome. Thanks for entering me in this week’s contest. Any gift from King Arthur is the BEST!


  42. Toni McFadden on December 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Frosted sugar cookies are one of my (many) favorites. I’ll be making these this weekend.


  43. Ikeca Lee on December 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    My family loves these cookies! I’ll be trying this recipe tonight.


  44. Rachael on December 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Frankly, I hate sugar cookies UNLESS they’re the Lofthouse sugar cookies. I am definitely trying this recipe out. I searched one out online awhile ago and was fairly satisfied with the results, but all of the recipes you share are SO good that I’m definitely trying this version out!


  45. Angela on December 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Yum!! I have to try this recipe! I have everything in my kitchen already! :) Yay!!


  46. Lisa on December 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lofthouse sugar cookies! I can’t buy them often because I literally hoard them and eat the entire container myself. I’m blessed to still have my parents with me but I’m sure I’ll be doing the same thing when they are gone…especially since I’m Italian and we associate food with love. Thanks for the beautiful post, Michelle!


  47. Margaret on December 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    nice to have a sugar cookie recipe that does not need to be cut out, so time consuming


  48. L.S. on December 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Smell is a very powerful thing isn’t it? I loved your story as to why these cookies mean so much to you. I enjoyed reading the post as much I am going to enjoy making these amazing cookies. Thank you for sharing the recipe and your story. I’m sorry about your Dad, but I hope these cookies brought back fond memories…


  49. nicole {sweet peony} on December 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    hey michelle! your cookies look fantastic & just like the ones from the store! i’ve tried making these from a different blog and was less-than pleased with the results. you are my go-to blogger & everything i make from your site is amazing so i know your cookies will be perfect! can’t wait to try them :)


  50. Kerry on December 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    My Great Aunt Lois made sugar cookies with sour cream in them. I love the memory of those cookies and can’t wait to make these. Thank you for reminding me of a wonderful food memory too.


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